Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pardon Me, Your Epidermis Is Showing...

..."I couldn't help but notice your shade of melanin."

This past weekend the family and I went home to Maryland for two family reunions. One was on my mother's side and the other was my stepmother's family. Fortunately for us they happened the same day, not too far from one another, and we were able to enjoy both.

My stepmother has a large wonderful family and I have grown up with them. My late Aunt Lena, her sister, had seven children who now almost all have children of their own. Her brothers have grown children as well and I was able to see a lot of my cousins.

As a child I was very close to Lena's children and whenever I was with my Dad and Stepmom, I would hope to be able to see them. They were a great family and I wanted a family just as large and loving as theirs.

This weekend I got to introduce Eazy and Iggy to my cousins for the first time, as some of them live on the west coast or just not very close. My cousin Margie stayed at my parents' with us and got to spend more time with them. At one point, she was holding Iggy and I was noticing how her coloring was barely a shade lighter than his.

Both of my foster sons are hispanic. Iggy's bioparents are from Puerto Rico, as is Eazy's father. His mother is Spanish. They both have darker skin than I do, but in varying shades. Frankly, I could not care less. This weekend, I realized that my boys have a wonderful gift.

My cousin Margie and her six siblings are half hispanic. Their father, my uncle, is Puerto Rican. Because I grew up in a very diverse world, this was never odd or strange to me. The fact that my uncle had an accent and darker skin was natural to me. So natural that I forgot the significance to my boys until I saw the same coloring in Margie and Iggy.

More than likely these two little ones will be part of my family forever. Although we are a diverse family with varying skin tones, there will be no doubt to the boys as they grow that their skin is different than Mommy and Daddy's. But not Margie's. Or my 6 other cousins and their children who sport darker skin. They will have people who look like them in their family.

They may never care or feel out of place. That is my desire. But just in case, the Lord has provided them many family members that do look like them and share the same heritage. He is so good.

dc Talk - Colored People

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I Just Had To Share

I snagged this from a friend. I laughed. And laughed again.
Forgive me, I just could not help posting this...

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Hard Blow

We lost a friend today. Robert Miller was a 42 year old father of three who was hit by a car while riding his motorcycle. For the past week he has been fighting for his life, but lost that fight this afternoon.

This is a man I have prayed with during small group, laughed with and grew to love as a brother in Christ. His family will have to now pick up the pieces and put their lives together without him. Please pray for them. When the funeral is done, the flowers have wilted and the condolence cards stop coming they will still be dealing with a pain so deep it can not be described. Life will go on for everyone else and eventually for his family, but their healing will take a million times longer. Please remember them then.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is It That Particular Hope?

My youngest daughter C'sa has been begging to take "ballerina" for a few years now. I figured as she would not let up, she might not be kidding about her desire, so I signed her up for a week long, "ballet camp" just to get her feet wet and she what she thinks. She goes Monday through Friday this week, in the mornings. She is thrilled.

Yesterday, I had a friend stay with the other offspring while C'sa and I went off for her first day. She was so very excited and I was excited for her. I hung around a bit, reluctant to leave my baby girl chatting with the other mothers and the conversation of how many kids we each had came up. When I answered that I had five, one of the mother's remarked in astonishment that I looked, "so put together". She said she could barely manage her two.

Instead of falling on the floor and laughing out loud at the remark (which may have been perceived as rude) I thanked her. It must have been the magical lipstick that gave that very erroneous perception. I wish I had it all put together. In reality, I feel quite frazzled at times.

The comment got me thinking however. What did she see? There are times when I feel supernaturally calm about the journey I am on. Other times I throw myself a pity party about the "burden" of raising and juggling five children and managing a household. But I also know that I am not doing this job, "just because". This did not happen by chance. It was part of God's plan and I am happy to be a part of it.

1 Peter 1:3-7 says, "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." (NIV)

Is it that living hope that shines through to believers and unbelievers alike? I have no idea as to the state of that other mom's redemption, but could it be that that is what she saw when she thought I was, "put together"? Especially on a day when I felt so much less than that?

I do have somewhere to turn on those days when the world seems to run you ragged. I have a greater hope, something amazing to look forward to in my future. I have a place to rest in the midst of chaos. I hope that is what she saw. Maybe next time I will have the courage to share it...

"...Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." 1Peter 3:15

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...

If you have been reading this blog for a while you certainly know about the tug-of-war going on between my head and my heart regarding the future of my eldest son's education.

My nine year old has been homeschooled since Kindergarten and although I have enjoyed it, the older he gets, the more I wonder if he would do better educationally with not having Mom teaching him. We both tend to represent a brick wall at times. Usually at the exact same time.

My heart says that I still want the dream of homeschooling all my kids, all the way through, to live on and prosper. My head says that I need to enroll K.Z. in a brick and mortar school and see if that helps him thrive even more. If not, he comes back home.

My head won out. I was a bit sad as I "unenrolled" him from the cyber charter school we used last year, but warming to the idea as I see how excited he is to be going. And from what I hear from a good friend whose son attended the same school, K.Z.'s teacher this coming year is incredible.

My heart still hurts a little, but I am excited to see what the year hold for him. Boy, am I going to miss my son during the day...